Two-time Wimbledon doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan led a strong contingent of seeded duos through to the third round with their straight-sets dismissal of British pair Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski.
Delgado and Skupski entered their daunting second-round assignment with form, having reached the final on grass at Eastbourne last week, and pushed the American twins to a first-set tie-breaker.
After 41 minutes, and on the back of a far-superior serving performance, the world’s second-ranked duo took the first set, wrapping up the tie-breaker 7-2 and going on a tear in the second set to snare a bagel in just 17 minutes.
The third set proved more of the same with the Bryans never facing a break point and securing a double break to prevail 7-6(2), 6-0, 6-2 to set up tricky a Round of 16 encounter with unseeded Frenchmen Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra.
Five years ago it was the same French pairing which upset the Bryans in a four-set Wimbledon final. Clement and Llodra will be determined to ensure their opponents’ record of never having defended a Wimbledon crown remains.
The Bryans’ victims in last year’s final, Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, have inched one match closer to making it third time lucky at the All England Club, having fallen in the past two Wimbledon deciders. The Swedish-Romanian pair beat Thailand’s own doubles twins, Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana, 6-2, 7-6(4), 7-6(2). The fifth seeds next face the diminutive unseeded Belgian pair of Steve Darcis and Olivier Rochus.
Defending Australian Open Champions and fourth seeds, Leader Paes and Radek Stepanek, had a relatively routine victory against Israeli duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4) result after 2hr 20min.
The Indian-Czech pairing will be keen to build on their Melbourne success, with Paes having already tasted success on the lawns at SW19 as Gentlemen’s Doubles Champion 13 years ago.
They will meet 15th seeds Ivan Dodig, of Croatia, and Marcelo Melo, of Brazil, for a quarter-final berth. Dodig and Melo continued the trend of straight-sets triumphs involving a tie-break set, in their 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 win against German pair Martin Emmrich and Michael Kohlmann.
There was some success for the home supporters when Jamie Marray and Denmark’s Fredrik Nielsen cruised past 6ft 10in Croat Ivo Karlovic and Germany’s Frank Moser on Court 14. They withstood 11 aces to post an easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win after just 1hr 35min.
Another giant of the men’s tour, 6ft 8in Dick Norman was also on the losing end of his doubles match. In a first-round duel held over, Norman and fellow Belgian Xavier Malisse fell in four sets to Yen-Hsun Lu and Alexander Waske, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...
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